Here's How To Do A COVID Safe Holiday Cookie Swap

With Thanksgiving behind us, the time has arrived for ugly sweater parties, white elephant gift exchanges, and holiday cookie swaps. According to the New York Times, cases of COVID continue to rise, with the U.S. infection count topping out at above 14.9 million infected. With numbers like this, getting together in groups to celebrate the season proves tough, but even with a pandemic continuing to grip the nation, don't feel like you can't celebrate your favorite traditions, including the annual winter cookie swap.

According to Today, you don't have to give up your cookie swapping tradition — the easiest way to safely spread the cookie love involves simply wrapping up your cookies and leaving them on the doorsteps of your loved ones' homes. COVID-19 spreads through the air, so coming in contact with others' holiday cookies won't expose you to the virus — just make sure to avoid gifting fragile cookies, don't use icing that can smudge, pack cookies conveniently, list any added nuts or allergens, and potentially supply some extra decorative material in each package to dish out the perfect cookie swap experience while effectively social distancing.

A million ways to cookie swap this holiday season

Don't assume you have to stick to one cookie swap method this year. According to CNN, we now have the option of doing virtual cookie swaps, where we share our favorite recipes via email and pick a day to come together and bake the sweets together over Zoom or FaceTime. If you feel more old school or just have too much Zoom fatigue, the postal service can also help make your cookie swap fantasies a reality.

For those of us who can't get together with family this holiday season, you can whip up your favorite cookie recipe, divide them up into small batches, and send the cookies out to everyone you would love to share your baking with. To prevent your cookies from breaking in the mail, avoid fragile cookie designs and stick to the standard gingerbread and butter cookies to prevent your goodies from crumbling in transit and make sure to wrap them in cushy material so they can't get shaken up too much (via CNN).

If you can't gather the strength to cookie swap with friends this year, don't feel left out — have a solo cookie swap at home! According to CNN, you can gather up all the cookie recipes you have wanted to try all season and treat yourself to your cookie bucketlist, and don't worry about having to impress with cookie decorations. For a stress-free cookie swap, don't let COVID stop you this holiday season. Celebrate the holidays with your favorite cookies on your terms.